Interview: Wolfman Director Joe Johnston — "I don't want the audience ever to feel relaxed…"]

By Rick Florino
ARTIST Direct, 2010.02.10
The Wolfman director Joe Johnston talks to editor and Dolor author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview about music's affect on the film, brewing intensity and his favorite horror films...
Florino: How important is music to a film like this?
Johnston: I think it's extremely important. Because the trailer was so successful when it came out, someone in charge at Universal said, "Why don't we try that kind of score for the entire film?" Danny Elfman had scored a much longer version of the film; there was about 35 minutes more. We continued to cut the movie though. When we put Danny's music with the shorter cut, the themes were much closer together and it started to feel repetitive. It wasn't working as well as we'd hoped, so there was this notion that we should try this electronic score. We did, and it didn't work. We went back to Danny Elfman's stuff and recorded 15 minutes of new music for the movie. It pointed out to everyone how important the music is to the picture.
Florino: Do you feel like the music can increase the intensity?
Johnston: Absolutely, and the parts of the movie that don't have music can create intensity too. Music is so amazing. You can do anything with it. You can edit it the way you can edit the picture. You can stretch it, shrink it and chop it up. A good music editor can create a completely different score out of raw material.
Florino: It's almost like a Bernard Hermann score.
Johnston: Danny was very conscious of the kind of movie he was scoring. He knew that there were elements of a classic gothic horror film in this. He needed to do something that would support that and not feel out of context. I think he did an amazing job.
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